MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

Rayovac Rechargable Battery Charger

by Bob Scott

As seen in MAKE 05 Toolbox

My whiz-bang digital camera consumes batteries at an alarming rate. Rechargeable AA cells always seem to be dead when I want to use the camera, so I either put in disposables or waited a couple of hours while they recharge. Who knows what the Pulitzer committee missed as a result?

The problem is the relatively high self-discharge rate of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, which is a problem for gadgets like my camera that go weeks between uses. I found a good workaround in Rayovac’s NiMH batteries, which are available in AA or AAA sizes. These batteries each have a tiny internal charging circuit and sensors that allow them to be fully charged in a blistering 15 minutes. Their 2000mAh capacity matches standard NiMH’s, and they are otherwise interchangeable with their not-so-smart cousins.

Now I can recharge my camera in the time it takes to find my shoes and pack my bag. The Pulitzer guys still haven’t called, though.

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